The economic competitiveness of fuel cell onsite integrated energy systems (OS/IES) in residential and commercial buildings is examined. The analysis is carried out for three different buildings with each building assumed to be at three geographic locations spanning a range of climatic conditions. Numerous design options and operating strategies are evaluated and two economic criteria are used to measure economic performance. In general the results show that fuel cell OS/IES's are competitive in most regions of the country if the OS/IES is properly designed. The preferred design is grid connected, makes effective use of the fuel cell's thermal output, and has a fuel cell powerplant sized for the building's base electrical load.